The chances of the Chicago White Sox extending their winning streak to a season-high four games appear promising with Chris Sale scheduled to take the hill Friday against the LA Angels of Anaheim.
That's, of course, if Sale pitches as well as he did the previous time out.
Sale was on point in Sunday's 3-0 win over these Angels and had a perfect game broken up by Mike Trout with one out in the seventh inning. In his first career shutout and second career complete game, Sale struck out seven and is 3-0 with a 1.48 earned run average in his last four starts -- all Chicago wins. He pitched with a cracked tooth on the back right side of his mouth.
"What happened was I cracked the tooth in half on our plane trip coming back from (New York) going to Chicago and I bit into something and my tooth went one way," Sale said on the team's website. "So I actually pulled half of it out on the plane and got the rest of it taken care of."
Sale had the tooth removed Monday.
The left-hander and 2012 All-Star is 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in eight starts overall and 2-0 with a sparkling 0.55 ERA in four lifetime appearances (2 starts) against the Angels.
Chicago just got by the Angels in the opener of this four-game series with Thursday's 5-4 win thanks to a big eighth inning. Alejandro De Aza scored on a Dane De La Rosa wild pitch with one out, while Adam Dunn followed with an RBI single and later scored on a bases-loaded walk.
"Everybody battled. We came back and kept grinding. We took advantage of the situation," said Chicago manager Robin Ventura.
Alex Rios homered for Chicago, which has won three in a row and four of five games. Jose Quintana started for the Pale Hose and recorded a no-decision with four runs and six hits allowed in 6 2/3 innings. Matt Lindstrom got the final out in the seventh for the win and Addison Reed closed the door in the ninth for his 13th save.
The White Sox are last in the tight AL Central, but sit just four games off the pace. Cleveland and Detroit are tied atop the standings.
Anaheim is in a different situation at 12 games out of first place in the AL West and has been a disappointment with a 15-26 record. With a payroll out of this world, the Angels have lost two in a row and four of five games.
In Thursday's tough loss, De La Rosa struggled in that decisive eighth inning and was dealt the loss. Starter Jerome Williams was decent through the first six frames and allowed two runs and five hits with no walks.
"I felt good, I felt strong, but that was (Scioscia's) decision to take me out. Our bullpen is good, but it's frustrating to see that happen," Williams said of the implosion.
Albert Pujols, one of the high-priced players for the Halos, homered and Howie Kendrick collected two hits and two RBI in the loss. Mike Trout entered the game batting .429 with three homers, seven RBI and nine hits in his last six games and finished 0-for-3 with a run scored. Trout came home on Pujols' two- run blast in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Angels are 1-3 on a nine-game homestand and hope C.J. Wilson can get the best of Sale this time around. Wilson opposed the Chicago southpaw in Sunday's 3-0 loss and gave up all three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"It was a really well-pitched game," Wilson said, "and Sale just had video- game stuff tonight."
He has dropped back-to-back trips to the mound since opening the season 3-0 in six appearances and is 3-2 in eight starts with a 3.88 earned run average. Wilson, a left-hander, is 3-2 in 14 career meetings (4 starts) with the White Sox to go along with a 4.05 ERA.
The White Sox lost two of three to the Angels in that Windy City series and have still dropped nine of the past 14 meetings between the teams.